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Showing Respect to Beginners

I often meet seniors who have practiced Karate for well over 40 or even 50 years. There is so much to learn in Karate. Aside from technique, kata, and body mechanics, there are the culture, history, and traditions of the art.

When I meet new students, or people who are simply interested in learning Karate, I have to remember that it is important to show as much respect to them as we do to senior Karate Sensei. In 40 or 50 years, a beginner will become a senior. We are seeing people at a moment in time. Our encouragement and respect, particularly as they enter the path of Karate training, can help them a lot. On the other hand, discouragement or disrespect, could make them loose their enthusiasm for the art. Even our indifference could negatively influence them.

We have to remember that we were once beginners too. Even Matsumura and Itosu were once beginners.

I feel that we are never greater than when we show respect and provide encouragement to children.


Charles C. Goodin